Sunday, March 01, 2009

I'm Peppy for Poverty.

Call it a recession. Call it an economic downturn. Call it the Octomommy ain't got no money. I don't care. All I know is whatever you call it, I sorta like what's taking place across the country.

You heard me right. I'm a little tickled pink about poverty and I don't care who knows it.

Here's the deal. I was born a poor, white child in the foothills of North Carolina. How poor were we? We ate mayonnaise on crackers as snacks; we frequently wore hand me downs; and in lieu of store bought toys, we got our jollies by pinching the asses off lightening bugs (fireflies)and sticking them to ourselves and others.

In a nutshell, we dressed funny, smelled vaguely like mayonnaise and looked like we had nuclear chicken pox. We weren't exactly at the top of the guest lists on the birthday party circuit.

Throughout my life and despite my best efforts I've never quite been able to break away from my southern upbringing and "po folks" origin. Oh sure, I can afford peanut butter crackers if I want now and I almost never rip the ass off of anything and stick it to myself any more, but the truth is I still live my life just one or two paychecks away from having to wear shoes that my mentally challenged cousin outgrew.

And you should know he has never been known for his stylish footwear.

But now that stock prices have plummeted and the price of crude oil is nearing the price of vegetable oil, I'm feeling a little less self conscious about Ford Focus driving, coupon clipping, clearance aisle shopping, close to poverty lifestyle. It's not that I want anyone to be as poor as me. I'm not that wicked a woman. I just want them to be almost as poor as me.

Because as you have probably always suspected on some level, I am at least that wicked.

I think maybe I'd like people to be not quite rich enough to charter a private jet, but still with enough money to bail me out of jail if I am arrested for public indecency. (Not purposeful indecency mind you, but if my boobs keep on the course they have set for themselves, I fear they may randomly fall out the bottom of my shirt.)

My ex-wife-in-law and BFF (who may kill me if she actually reads this) is one of the people who sadly is being adversely affected by the declining price of oil. In our relationship she's been the Daddy Warbucks to my Annie. She owns many fantastic things that I do not: honking diamonds, lots of vehicles, multiple houses, and credit cards in an assortment of colors.

Don't get me wrong. She is generous to a fault and has never flaunted any of her toys in a way that would make me hate her or commit felony arson. When we go out to eat, she always somehow manages to get the check and for some inexplicable reason over the years, she's had a pretty insane addiction to cleaning out her house and then backing trucks up to my house with stuff "that's just going to get thrown out you'd really be doing me a favor."

Only now the tables have turned a bit.

Although she's definitely not poor enough to make me feel superior, (which I might like to feel at least once in my anyone or anything), her funds have decreased just enough so that I suspect she may be calling soon to ask for my Daddy's famous fried snipe recipe.

Snipe: the other white meat.

I guess this all sounds a little mean spirited when you get right down to it and that's not what I want at all. I love all my friends - red and yellow, black and white, poor and rich and wound too tight. (Rhyming: free with every third humor column you purchase. Reference to childhood Sunday school song: priceless.)

No way I would want anyone any where to wind up on the soup line and Lord knows I wouldn't wish the humiliation of having to wear used hip waders to dollar mountain oyster night at McDonald's (or their prom) on anyone. But I will admit that maybe it would be kind of nice in this country if everyone was forced to be a little less about the bling and the things and a lot more about what's on the inside.

You know what I mean. The heart and soul of a person...and guts and stuff.

Copyright © Sherri Bailey
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This town is just a few miles from where I grew up. The food featured here (Mack's liver mush) is the best stuff you'll ever get a hold of and something I ate all the time my whole life until I moved away. The TV guy is pronouncing it wrong though! The accent of everybody else though is HOME. I miss it.


Cher said...

My sis and I were raised with noodles and pie cherries on top of liver and onions. I guess you could call that an unmushed liver mush and grape jelly. I want to try your mush...right after I figure out the ex-wife-in-law and BFF thing. As near as I can figure, she's your husband's ex-wife and your best friend. Right? How did THAT happen?

I did enjoy your column (That how I look at blogs, as if they were columns in a magazine or newspaper) about the economic downturn. You're spot on!

The Texas Woman

Sher said...

Cher - liver mush is the STUFF, but you gots to go to NC to get it.

BFF ex-wife-in-law: She is married to my ex-husband. We became friends because this is a small town and it's slim pickins. Also because my ex has ex-cellent taste in women.

Cher said...

That's a hoot! If I were he, I'd be a worried man!

The Texas Woman

Tidewaterbound said...

Sher Honey, that's pretty much like "our" scrapple up here on Delmarva, except it's not just liver, it's lots of pig parts.

Grey meat, ya gotta love it and the BEST brand is RAPA!

Anonymous said...

I understand. My ancestors never had much in the way of material goods, but when they could they bought land and paid in cash. They worked hard in a dangerous profession ( my grandpa was killed in a logging accident). Made it easy for us now, and I am very appreciative.

We can really irritate the pseudo-swells in town. White trash loggers with money. It don't get no better. Yeeha.


Sher said...

Tide - I've heard people who've never had liver mush compare it to Scrapple. I have no idea if they're the same. Is it good fried really crispy?

TSG - There probably is nothing better than white trash with money. I look forward to the time I can say that about myself!

Eric said...

Sher, Ever watch Bizzarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel? Liver mush made the list. Check out this link:

Flutterby said...

Sardines mixed with mayo and onion on saltines; avocado mashed with mayo on bread; creamed eggs on toast. This was the diet right before payday on my Air Force daddy's salary because it was really cheap stuff at the commissary. The avocados were free off our neighbors tree and yes they let us have them, lol. It was always a treat to me, and I never knew until I was an adult just *why* we had stuff like that on occasion. To this day I still LOVE eating every one of those things. But it totally pisses me off when the avocado costs me over a dollar. And I am thinking this post of yours totally conflicts with my post today, lol.

Sher said...

Thanks Eric. I can't believe Andrew Zimmerman thought livermush was Bizarre Foods worthy. He eats eyeballs and eardrums for a living.

Flutter - LOL. It's funny how you learn to love something, isn't it?

Tidewaterbound said...

Sher, it's great thin and crispy, or thick, crunchy outside and soft on the inside. It may not be the same but I'm guessing they are close enough for cousins. LOL

Smiles to ya.

Pattylicious said...

Amen....that's all I'm saying is.....Amen.

My BFF and I often have this discussion (and usually it is about my husband might I add) because we were both brought up on the po' side.

I am addicted to things that come necessary with my husband that I did not have growing up. Like TV. And a car. I totally agree, though, that a few more people could suffer the beans and rice diet for awhile. Besides, I hear it's good to keep the colds away.

Sher said...

Tide - sounds yummy!

Patty - Welcome to the First Church of the OCD chick! We're po, but we ain't got no money. Kinda like my Daddy used to say, "She ain't purty but she shore is ugly."